In Memoriam

In this epidemic of Covid I think back to previous epidemics. In my youth the scare word was POLIO. I knew only one person who got polio and that was the town doctor’s son. The doctor was Dr. Grinold who in his official capacity attended all the Belmont High School football games. The Grinolds lived fairly near us. The son Jack carried his arm in a sling. He was 2 or 3 years older than I was.

I must search my genealogy records to find any reference to the “Spanish” flu of 1918-19.

In the prevailing atmosphere of “death” my thoughts have turned to all those who have died before their time – an expected lifetime – their lives cut short.

Hope Hubbard who died in her early 30’s. She was a housemate in Cambridge in the early 1960’s. Her life was cut short by lung cancer – she was a heavy smoker

Jan Bartlett a close friend and neighbor – we were the same age – but she died of lung cancer in her 60s She did not smoke, was extremely active, a Girl Scout leader, a collector of everything for War on Want, a staunch supporter of her clerical scholarly husband, a very keen gardener

George Baird – husband of Honor, George attended Campbell College in Belfast as did my husband Ian but George was a few years younger, we knew George and Honor in Dublin starting in 1969, a mutual friend Lucia Frontini Boyle from my years at Middlebury College in Vermont came to visit the Bairds in Dublin in 1969, Luci looked me up and introduced me to the Bairds. At that time the Bairds lived on Weston Road in Dundrum. We moved to Dundrum a few months later and were within walking distance of the Bairds, years later George died of cancer. He was in his 60s

Connie Clifford – a friend from the days when I worked at Arthur D Little in Cambridge Mass. She came from a staunchly Catholic family. Several of her brothers were priests. She died in her early 30’s – another cancer victim

Maura Shaffrey – a very close friend in Ireland, Ian knew the Shaffreys initially from his days in Edinburgh in the early 1960’s, I met them when we went to live in Dublin in 1968, Maura battled cancer for a number of years, but cancer won in 1996 – Maura was in her 60’s

Christine McKee – my sister-in-law, a fighter who thought she had the all clear, 2 days later the doctor phoned and said they had made a mistake, she died a month later at age 54, another cancer victim